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April 22, 2015 Comments (0) Gear Reviews

Shoe Review – Pearl Izumi Trail M2

Getting Dirty

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Pearl Izumi Trail M2

Pearl Izumi Trail M2

These super-comfortable, but bad-ass trail mongers will easily be my favorite technical trail shoes ever. This is not hyperbole.  Right out of the box, I put these bad girls on and took them for a 7-mile spin on pavement and gravelly dirt road. The next day, I was so excited about not having had to break them in AT ALL, Next, I took them for a 5 miler on a very muddy, slightly technical and very hilly trail in the North Georgia Mountains. There were no pressure points or weird blister-producing rubbing anywhere, including to be honest on my one bunion.


The true test was when I took them for a 13 mile run on one of Northwest Georgia’s toughest trails, The Coosa Backcountry Trail. It was early spring and it had rained a ton in the weekdays prior to our weekend joint. Add to that a cold front that had just passed through leaving parts of the sometimes technical/sometimes hard-packed trail fairly icy and slippery.


The Pearl Izumi Trail M2 passed my test.


In addition to having a very smart, not overly flashy and overly pink design, the PI TM2s have a fairly low profile, relative to max-cushion shoes and other stability/motion-control shoes.

M2 Pink


After 100 miles, the shoes show very little wear and tear, which is significant for a heavier, hard on any-kind-of-shoe runner, such as myself. In fact, the only signs that the shoes have been used frequently in a short amount of time are is the outer-left side of the left shoe where an errant branch attacked my foot, tearing a small and insignificant piece of the outsole.  Oh, and the remnant mud on the shoe.


Even though the shoe has a fair amount of cushioning for stability, it rides smoothly and does not interfere with the foot-strike. In fact, I was able to maintain a mid-foot strike throughout my run with no added pressure on the calf muscles or Achilles tendons.  There is just enough cushioning with an excellent amount of sturdiness and tread-aggression that provides an easy ride up and down rocky, talus-filled, muddy, grassy and rooty trails.


I can’t tell you how many times I should have broken both of my big toes on this particular (and subsequent runs). The rock-plate in the forefoot of the shoes protects the toes against this, again providing a comfortable less-injurious ride on the trails.


As for the women’s specific fit, I wouldn’t know. I typically wear men’s shoes because they fit my Flintstone feet a bit better, but the PI TM2s do the job without sacrificing a little style for overall form, fit, and function. There was plenty (but not too much) room in the toe-box, but the shoes had a glove-like fit. There was also not a huge amount of slippage of my toes on the steep descents on the Coosa/Duncan Ridge Trail.

Trail M2 Tread

Trail M2 Tread

The shoes laces are another awesome feature of these nifty shoes. They are designed in a way that they will probably not become untied unless a bear really wants to eat your feet for breakfast or dinner.


Trail M2 on the Kokopelli Trail

Trail M2 on the Kokopelli Trail

TAUR Tester Feedback

M2 Cairns

From our Testers:


“I’ve run a little over 110 miles on this shoes and they have little to no wear and tear on the outsole. Great durability!”

“I was not very impressed with the color pattern.”

“I have high arches and I am a neutral runner, this shoe provides an excellent support.”

“Currently my go-to shoe. This is a great ‘sweet spot’ shoe – not to minimal, not too cushy, good on the roads and great on the trail. Good 100 mile shoe, just make sure you’ve got enough room up front for the long runs. Like the N2s, Pearl could tighten up the collar a little to keep extra debris out.”
Getting Dirty

Getting Dirty

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